Jason Garrett rattled off a list of things that the Cowboys’ defense did wrong in their preseason opening loss to the Chargers on Thursday.
They didn’t play with discipline. They didn’t tackle well. They didn’t have gap control. They didn’t run to the ball.
In other words, as Garrett said, “We didn’t make any plays that made a difference in the game.”
That went for the entire defense except rookie safety Ahmad Dixon.
Garrett spent more time gushing about Dixon, the seventh-round pick out of Baylor, than any other player during his daily news conference Saturday.
Dixon led the team in tackles with 11 and made several impact plays in the Cowboys’ 27-7 loss to the Chargers on Thursday night. He is expected to be rewarded by getting a few reps with the first-team in this afternoon’s practice.
“For him to show up as much as he did and as well as he did … he was fast, he was decisive, he was physical, he knocked them back,” Garrett said. “He made the plays that he should have made and he made some other ones, so it was an impressive debut for him.
“He was a good example for a lot of the other guys as to what we’re looking for. For him to do that in Week 1 of his rookie year, it was impressive.”
Dixon was taken out of the game in the fourth quarter for precautionary reasons and tested for concussion-like symptoms. But he passed every test and participated in Saturday’s walkthrough.
Dixon spoke briefly after Thursday’s game and said the hit that knocked him out was a little ‘Welcome to the NFL’ moment for him. But he was pleased with his overall performance and said he’ll continue to be a physical defensive back.
“Just because I have one little ding, it’s not going to change the way that I play,” Dixon said. “I’ll be the same player.”